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Oct 15, 2012 12:00am EDT
gcses -- from 12 percent when it was under local authority control to almost 90 percent now. the transformation has been astonishing -- and the methods have been conservative. smart uniforms, teachers in suits. children taught physics, chemistry and biology not soft options. children set by ability -- with excellence applauded, extra resources for those most in need but no excuses for slacking. when you see a school like that succeed it prompts the question, why can't every school be that way? why can't every child have those chances? it's not because parents aren't ambitious enough -- most of these schools are massively over-subscribed. it's because the old educational establishment -- the left-wing local authorities, the leaders of the teachers unions, the labour party theorists -- stood in the way. when we saw a badly failing school in haringey and wanted to turn it into an academy, the labour authority, the labour mp and the teaching unions said no. when inspirational teachers and parents -- in hammersmith, in norwich, in bristol and in wigan -- wanted to open free schoo
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